Over 70% of the medically discharged veterans we have supported have found this process to be a negative or very negative experience. This process is clearly not working to support our veterans and needs urgent reform. Over 40,000 personnel have had to leave the Armed Forces due to injury or illness over the last 20 years, and this number grows daily, with an average of three people medically discharged every day.

Why does it need improving?

Our research, from 2019, has shone a light on a number of gaps and inconsistencies in the discharge process. 

These include

  • Men and women are being medically discharged with a physical injury before receiving a full diagnosis for mental health conditions;
  • There is little mental health support through transition for those being discharged;
  • Those being discharged are not properly signposted to the courses available to help them;
  • The time given to transition after medical discharge varies hugely between services and individuals;
  • Compensation awards are often not being disclosed until after service personnel have left the military;
  • Individuals who are medically discharged often do not receive their full medical history documents for many months after leaving the military.

What we're doing

Our core aim is to secure an independent Government review of the medical discharge process, which is based on addressing all the key inconsistencies and gaps in support identified by our 2019 survey. We believe the review should view the process from the experience of serving personnel and consider consistency across all three military services. We will campaign and drive public and political engagement to achieve that.

At the same time, we will continue to utilise our recovery expertise to work with Whitehall officials, the charity sector, and other relevant stakeholders to better understand how we can improve all areas of support for individuals from the point of discharge and provide a better continuity of care and services during their transition from the military.

    Get involved in this campaign

    To support this campaign, sign our petition calling for better mental health support for veterans.

    If you want more information on this campaign, please contact our Senior Public Affairs and Policy Manager Ted Arnold at ted.arnold@helpforheroes.org.uk